Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken by phone on Saturday. While Blinken suggested that Washington wants more countries to punish Russia for its military offensive against Ukraine, Wang cautioned against any attempts to escalate the situation.
According to a readout from the US State Department, Blinken told Wang that “the world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination and sovereignty,” and that “the world is acting in unison to repudiate and respond to the Russian aggression, ensuring that Moscow will pay a high price.”
The conversation took place during a trip by Blinken to eastern Europe, intended to display unity between the US and its NATO and EU allies. The Biden administration, acting in lockstep with European leaders, has slapped Moscow with an array of economic sanctions while funneling arms to the Ukrainian military. Both US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have explicitly ruled out military intervention in Ukraine.
From the outset of hostilities, China has insisted that Russia and Ukraine settle the conflict at the negotiating table. According to an official readout of Saturday’s call from the Chinese side, that position remains unchanged.